Jonathan Edwards MP has tabled an amendment to the Westminster Government’s latest Brexit motion which would allow for a referendum to take place even after the Article 50 process has been completed.
The motion, which will be debated today, outlines how if practical difficulties stop a People’s Vote happening before the UK moves into the ‘transition period’, a public vote could be held at the end of the next phase of EU-UK negotiations.
With the Prime Minister trying to run down the clock, the timeframe required for a People’s Vote is becoming ever tighter. This proposal would ensure, however, that a People’s Vote would happen even if the practical reasons – such as the time needed to pass legislation for a referendum or minimum campaign periods – meant that the Article 50 process was completed, even after an extension.
The amendment directs the Westminster Government to negotiate into the Political Declaration a commitment to hold a referendum at the end of phase two negotiations on the UK-EU future relationship, if a People’s Vote is not held beforehand.
The referendum would be a binary choice between the negotiated deal and remain. Under this model, the UK would have to negotiate with the European Union the ability to re-join the EU under the current terms of our membership should the people ultimately reject the deal and opt to remain. The legislation enabling the referendum could then be included in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill needed for ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement.
This new proposal has the benefit of avoiding a ‘No Deal’, removing the need to contest EU elections, and giving the people of the UK a final say on the deal as a complete package.
Commenting, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:
“The Government is continuing with the most dangerous and costly can-kicking exercise in history. Billions are being spent on the No Deal outcome that nigh on no one in Parliament wants to see.
“The current Mexican standoff continues to ensure no victor and no way out of this nightmarish Brexit spin cycle.
“Loyal MPs from both the Tories and Labour who support a People’s Vote will not break ranks until the very last minute, but that same ‘very last minute’ will be too late to deliver on the practicalities of a People’s Vote.
“I, of course, would prefer a People’s Vote to delivered now, so that we can get this over and done with. The Labour frontbench could just grow a backbone and we could have all of this in the bag by Thursday, with a People’s Vote held well within the Article 50 deadline.
“However, we need to ensure that the pragmatics don’t get in the way of principal and make sure that if it is wanted – as I believe it is – a People’s Vote is delivered, be that before or after the Article 50 deadline.”